Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Summer Releases

With the school year back in full spring I bring to you three summer releases by local bands. The music ranges from punk to indie-rock to more electro influenced, but the best part about all the releases- each can either be listened to or downloaded online for free.
Our First Brains- Bummer Jams 2012
            Somewhat of a super group, Our First Brains consists of a bunch of friends who have played music together for years. For their first release, which came out this last summer, they decided to put together something that provided the “much needed bummer jams to satisfy all of your catchy punk pop desires.” WithBummer Jams 2012 they have done just that. The band combines their punk-pop soundwith various sound-bits such as couples bickering and what sounds like old radio broadcasts. The lyrics of the songs range from love to heartbreak and most songs have a punk sound that would be perfect coming from someone’s garage on a hot July night. The last song of the EP, “Attention Spans, They Die,” is the only acoustic song on Bummer Jams 2012and gives off that feeling of reminisce we all get at the end of the summer.
Where can I listen to it: while the band has sold out all their limited edition tapes of Bummer Jams 2012, you can still get it on their band camp page, where you can download it for free!
BiploarBear- Green, Blue, Red
            BiploarBear’s new EP has the band experimenting with a new, more rocking sound. Drums and distorted guitar lines are featured prominently, such as in the song “Carolina.” Singer Teal Bluestone’s voice also takes on rock, almost punk, tone, making her more Karen O than Romy Madley-Croft (of the indie rock band the xx). For the band this was one of the most time-consuming songs because of its difficult harmonies and bridge. Besides changing up their sound a little,this was also the first album the band recorded in a professional studio, which gives Green, Blue, Red a more polished feel to it. Their classic indie-rock tone is not lost in the album,though. In the sweet “SongSongSong,” which features drummer Henry Brentlinger and Bluestone sharing vocals, simple drum beats and minimal guitar are much more reminiscent of their past work than other songs on the album. Bluestone believes this is their most diverse album so far, with each song different than the one before.
            “There really isn’t a specific theme in the music of the songs,” said Teal, although when asked about the theme of the album as a whole she said she believes that it emulates the idea of summertime, something that will be greatly missed as the rain comes.
Where can I listen to it: on their Facebook page, which you can view here.
Electric Sheep- Tuesday in the Clouds
After four years of being together Electric Sheep finally put out their first album, “Tuesday in the Clouds,” right as the band was disbanding. Various members of the group had to leave because of college, so Tuesday in the Clouds was their last hurrah as a group. It’s sad the band only recorded one album becauseTuesday in the Cloudsis truly great. Inspired by indie rock bands like Grizzly Bear, Electric Sheep’s songs change from complicated electro-focused masterpieces to low-fi bridges.  Usually the songs feature just drums, guitar,and vocals. While this dramatic change could be awkward if not done right, Electric Sheep makes these transitions smoothly and makes each song a story in itself. Their music would be work perfectly for a stressful school night when you need something smoothing to get you through your calculus homework.
Where can I listen to it: on their soundcloud-

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

T-Shirt of the Day: OK Go

Band: OK Go

Have I Ever Seen Them Live: Yes- technically three times. They did a little acoustic show that a friend of mine organized at School of Rock in Portland a couple years ago, then they played that night at the Hawthorne Theater, and then I saw them a couple months (years?) later at Oregon State University.

Show Highlight: Getting to meet them was really sweet, but seeing my good friend freak over meeting her all time favorite band? Even better.

Favorite Song: Some of my friends and I played "You're So Damn Hot" for a friend for his birthday- it was pretty amazing. "Invincible" is also a really great song.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

T-Shirt of the Day: Kimya Dawson

Band (Artist): Kimya Dawson

Have I Ever Seen Her Live: Yes! One time at the Old Town School in Chicago circa 2008 and then around 2010 in Portland at Backspace.

Favorite Part About the Show: At the Portland show we all sat on the ground and it was just her and an acoustic guitar. It was really intimate and lovely.

What I Love About the T-Shirt: It's hard to see because the wall behind it is orange, but the t-shirt is bright red. The picture of Kimya and the sheep is adorable too. Kimya was also the one who sold it to me- which was pretty awesome.

Favorite Song: "Loose Lips" is one of the most brilliant songs ever written.

Funny Story: A couple months ago I found out about Tallahassee Turns Ten and thought it was super cool and I submitted a cover of "Game Shows Touch Our Lives" by the Mountain Goats. I found out my cover didn't get in and I was really sad, but then I found out Kimya's cover did instead and I was TOTALLY ok with that.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

T-Shirt of the Day: The Mountain Goats

Band: The Mountain Goats

Have I Ever Seen Them Live: Yes, in May 2011 at the Aladdin Theater in Portland.

Best Part of the Show: Right before playing "The Best Ever Death Metal Band" John Darnielle gave a fabulous speech about not letting the "man" get you down.

Why I Got the Shirt: I still have yet to figure out the correlation between the Mountain Goats and octopi, but one day I will....

Favorite Song: There are so many, but "Best Ever Death Metal Band" is incredible. Hail Satan.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

T-Shirt of the Day: St. Vincent

Band: St. Vincent

Have I ever seen them live?: Yes! Three times- I saw here back in 2010 at the Doug Fir in Portland; then in 2011 at the Crystal Ballroom; and then in 2012 at Sasquatch. I will also be seeing her next month with David Byrne. It's interesting- each show she's played has been at a different and larger venue. Along with this she has evolved to become even more of a star. While I'm excited to see her at a huge venue next month, I still remember seeing her for the first time in the basement of a restaurant with just a hundred or so people, which is also the show where I got this shirt.

Favorite Part of the Show: I really love her new song "Krokodile" and at the end of her show at Sasquatch (like in the video from Coachella) she stage dives while performing the song.

Favorite Song: While she has a ton of great songs, I really love "Cheerleader".

Saturday, September 15, 2012

T-Shirt of the Day: Apples in Stereo

Band: Apples in Stereo

Have I Ever Seen Them Live: Sadly no, the only shows they ever played were 21+.

Story Behind the Shirt: Growing up whenever I was unable to go to a show because it was 21+, my dad would always buy me a t-shirt from the show.

Favorite Song: "She's Telling Lies (Bryce's Mix)" is one of my favorite less than two minute songs.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

T-Shirt of the Day: Death Cab for Cutie

 Band: Death Cab for Cutie

Story Behind the Shirt: Even though I've seen them live, I didn't get a t-shirt at the show just because it would have been a super long line. I actually got this shirt at Buffalo Exchange years ago and now work at that same store.

Have I Ever Seen them Live: Yes, like most emerging hipsters circa 2008 I loved Death Cab. I saw them at the Aladin in Chicago. It was December, but it felt like 100 degrees in the venue, but I didn't care. I cried throughout the show especially when they ended it with "Transatlanticism". I don't really wear this shirt much anymore mostly because it is kind of tight and very yellow, but I think I'll keep it for a long time to come just for the memories.

Favorite Song: "Grapevine Fires" was always a favorite of mine and a good song to cry to.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

T-Shirt of the Day: Brite Futures

Band: Brite Futures or Natalie Portman Shaved Head

Reason Behind the T-Shirt: I had driven to the band's last show in Seattle  from Portland, which is a VERY long drive. I made this road trip with a good group of friends because Brite Futures have always been a band we have listened to together. The show was fantastic and we hung out with the band afterwards. All of their merch was ridiculously on sale because it was their last show and I got this shirt plus an awesome pair of Brite Futures sunglasses.

Have I ever seen them live: Twice, the first last year at Willamette University and then this summer in Seattle.

Favorite Part of the Show: When at their last show they gave my friends and I bunch of the various clothes they performed in (which included a ridiculous sailor jacket) so to this day we can still relive the show.

Favorite Song: "Sophisticated Side Ponytail"the best and possibly only song about side ponytails.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

T-Shirt of the Day: Iron and Wine

Band: Iron and Wine

Story Behind the Shirt: One of those classic tales of seeing one of your favorite bands and they play a great show and yada yada and the t-shirts are only ok, but you feel like you have to buy one.

Have I ever seen the band: Twice, one time at Metro in Chicago in around 2007 and then again in 2011 at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland.

Show Highlight: This might sound terribly cheesy, but when Sam Beam came on at the end of the show and played "Flightless Bird, American Mouth"and I was dancing with the guy I was infatuated with at the time- pretty damn perfect. The rest of the show was great too though.

Favorite Song: It was hard to pick just one, but I really love "Muddy Hymnal".

Monday, September 10, 2012

T-Shirt of the Day: The Smiths

Band: The Smiths

Story Behind the Shirt: I was having a clothing swap with some friends and all of the clothes were really great so I was moving like crazy to snatch up all of the killer finds. I was going through one pile when I saw Morrissey's face out of the corner of my eye and low and behold I pulled out a Smiths T. It's really oversized, but I wear it on an almost weekly basis.

Have I ever seen the band: Sadly no (I still have faith in a reunion), but I'm seeing Morrissey in about a month for the first time.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

T-shirt of the Day

I'm going to start a new daily post where I'm going to go through all of my various band t-shirts and give a little history behind them.

Band: The Decemberists

Where I Got the Shirt: At a Decemberists show at Edgefield in 2011.

Other Bands Playing: Okkervil River (or as my friend called it "Overkill River")

Best Part of the Show: During the "Mariner's Revenge Song" everyone in the audience was encouraged to make whale sounds- it was epic.

Must Hear Track: "Mariner's Revenge Song", while not as epic as during the show it's still a great song.